Galway, 25th November 2022 –OmniSpirant Limited and EVerZom are delighted and honoured to announce the launch of INSPIRE, a €12.8 million lung cancer project funded by Horizon Europe. In one of the largest ever grants for preclinical research in lung cancer, OmniSpirant in collaboration with our European partners spanning across biotechnology, medical devices, cancer research, academia and patient advocacy, are already actively working on the project deliverables, and recently met in Galway, Ireland for the official kick-off meeting (see the picture below taken on the 28th October 2022).
OmniSpirant has put together a team of expert collaborators in developing and refining a clear and high impact program of work. Participating partners include Aerogen Limited (Ireland), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), RemedyBio (Ireland), Myriad Associates (Ireland), Biopharma Excellence (Pharmalex) (Germany), Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) (Germany) and Lung Cancer Europe (Switzerland). Over the next 3 years of the project, this world-class consortium will progress the development of a regenerative gene therapy as a transformative new treatment for lung cancer. The INSPIRE programme aims to make an important and tangible impact on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the EU Mission on Cancer.
Lung cancer (#lungcancer) presents a significant health policy challenge with over 470 thousand cases reported annually in Europe, accounting for 11% of all cancers. Cancer costs European countries €124 billion every year, with lung cancer incurring the largest total cost, amounting to €19 billion, mostly due to losses relating to premature death. Cancers of the bronchus, lung and trachea are already costing the global economy €180 billion annually. The state-of-the-art approved treatments, such as targeted therapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors are prone to treatment resistance. The overall 5-year survival rates for people with lung cancer remain extremely poor in comparison to other common cancers, highlighting the desperate need for innovative lung cancer treatments (#LCSM).
OmniSpirant, as leaders and coordinators of the INSPIRE project along with consortium partners, will work to drive significant progress of the development of a novel, effective and affordable gene therapy treatment, which will improve drug access and better outcomes for people with lung cancer. This project will help in placing Europe as a leader in the fight against lung cancer and in the development of treatments for other debilitating lung diseases.
OmniSpirant is an Irish biotech founded in 2016 to develop first-in-class inhaled regenerative gene therapies. OmniSpirant received EU funding in 2018 via the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument to develop advanced therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. OmniSpirant also received the EU seal of excellence in 2020. The company’s new gene therapies are based on its proprietary OmniSome™ platform technology, which utilises tiny particles carrying cellular cargoes, known as extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by stem cells. This OmniSome™ platform of products are currently being developed as first-in-class inhaled regenerative gene therapies for cystic fibrosis, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and now, targeting lung cancer via the INSPIRE project.
“We are delighted to collaborate with our pan-European partners in developing this exciting new approach” said OmniSpirant CEO Gerry McCauley. “We are at the forefront of harnessing extracellular vesicles to deliver RNA based therapeutics in the fight against lung cancer and in developing our platform to address a host of chronic pulmonary conditions, which today have suboptimal treatment.”
We are delighted to collaborate with Omnispirant to bring our technologies and know how to manufacture extracellular vesicles at large scale and affordable costs to develop this future breakthrough treatment.” said EVerZom CEO Jeanne Volatron.
The OmniSpirant coordinated INSPIRE project consists of expert partners from across the EU:
Aerogen Limited (@Aerogen) – the world leader in high-performance aerosol drug delivery in the acute and critical care sector. Their products have been used in the treatment of more than 16 million patients in more than 75 countries. (website; LinkedIn)
Trinity College Dublin (@tcddublin) – Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (https://www.tcd.ie/ttmi/) at St James’s Hospital (https://www.stjames.ie/research/) translating novel discoveries from bench to bedside. (website; LinkedIn)
RemedyBio (@RemedyBio) – an Irish biotechnology company inspired by functional biology for the discovery and development of new immune therapies using the power of its Nanoreactor Technology for the analysis of individual cells and cell interactions. (website; LinkedIn)
DKFZ – Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (@DKFZ) – the largest biomedical research institute in Germany investigating the biological mechanisms of cancer to develop novel approaches to cancer treatment. (website; LinkedIn)
Lung Cancer Europe (@LungCancerEu) – a European non-profit umbrella organisation, with the vision that Europeans impacted by lung cancer will have equity in access to optimal care so that they have the best possible outcomes and quality of life. (website; LinkedIn)
INSPIRE is fully funded (grant number 101057777) under the funding call HORIZON-HLTH-2021-TOOL-06 by The Horizon Europe Funding programme that promotes the collaboration of EU-based SME and academic partners in addressing major societal challenges.
OmniSpirant Limited was founded in 2016 by Mr Gerry McCauley, a pharmacist and inventor of the inhaled surface engineered EV platform technology (OmniSomes™). OmniSpirant identified and have developed differential abilities in working with extracellular vesicles and harnessing them to carry genetic information to target cells and tissues to enhance treatment of chronic lung diseases.
In pulmonary medicine, delivering RNA and DNA gene therapy cargoes to the lung is especially challenging with over 25 years of attempts and failures in the case of cystic fibrosis. OmniSpirant believe the OmniSome technology is the ‘Rosetta stone’, a key enabling platform to develop lung targeted gene therapies.
The Inspire consortium includes the relevant skills and expertise recruited across Europe to address a challenge of this scale and complexity. OmniSpirant has been supported by Enterprise Ireland and EU funding in its development and expansion to date.
*Photo Description: INSPIRE kick-off meeting at OmniSpirant facility at Kilcolgan, Co. Galway on the 27th & 28th October 2022 – (from left to right) David Monahan (OMNI), Katie Gilligan (OMNI), John Nolan (OMNI), Gerry McCauley (OMNI), Dania Movia (TCD), Dave Shanahan (OMNI), Yasser El-Sherbini (PLx), Dairine Dempsey (OMNI), Jean Francois Lemeur (PLx), Martin Barr (TCD), Paula Maguire (RBIO), Jörg Schneider (PLx), Shruti Bakshi (RBIO), Paul Leonard (RBIO), Ronan MacLoughlin (AERO), Mary Joyce (AERO), Ciaran O Leime (AERO), Andrew O’Sullivan (AERO), Nicolas Rousseau (EVER), Adriele Prina-Mello (TCD), Padraig Leddin (OMNI), Maxence Duchemin (EVER), Tim Farries (PLx) and Vijay Raghavan (OMNI)